There’s certainly a lot of policy work to be done.
We’re delighted that Ms Dinenage has written her first message to the early years sector for Nursery World – you can read her article on page 12.
The minister also has responsibility for women and equalities, and it will be very interesting to see how the different elements of the job affect each other as things progress.
One ongoing policy development mentioned is the Workforce Strategy. It is increasingly urgent that the drop in the numbers of Level 3 Early years Educators coming into the sector caused by the GCSE requirements is addressed.
There is a full-blown recruitment crisis now, as our in-depth feature in the new edition of Nursery Management (with this issue) shows. CACHE and Nursery World have analysed the figures of Level 3 completions, and we have talked to nurseries about the effects this is having.
The Government has confirmed again that it intends to review the GCSE rules, and Ms Dinenage acknowledges that ‘excellence can be measured by qualities other than exam results’. But it is already too late to do anything for course enrolment for the academic year just started, and the shortage of qualified staff will affect the ability of settings to provide the 30-hour offer.
The minister will be giving the keynote speech at the Nursery World Business Summit on 8 November (subject to parliamentary business), so it will be good to hear from her on the latest developments and have the chance to ask questions about matters of concern.
Roll up those sleeves, Ms Dinenage!